The man was identified as Brendon T. Kaluza-Graham, 25, of Spokane.
Police said Kaluza-Graham died Monday morning after a homeowner called 911 to report that his vehicle had been stolen, that the alleged thief was armed, and that he had fired at the thief. The car was found just a few blocks away, crashed into a garage.
Kaluza-Graham was inside and pronounced dead at the scene. Police say it is unclear if he was armed.
Detectives are still investigating the shooting and trying to determine if the vehicle owner's use of deadly force was justified.
The vehicle owner has not been identified by authorities.
In Washington, a person cannot fire a gun at anyone unless their life is in immediate danger. The person must generally be in their home, not outside.
The county prosecutor will make the final decision on whether the shooter will face any charges.
Kaluza-Graham had an extensive criminal history, including multiple counts of taking a vehicle without permission. In 2012, he was charged with assault of a law enforcement officer and controlled substance possession.
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